A co-worker recently asked me how I stay current with new development in the PHP world. I started writing a document for him, then I though it might be a good idea to put this in a blog post. So here are a few of the resources I use. Most of them are about PHP, because that is what I was asked about, but I think it’s important to look other areas also. So I will throw in a few links that are not strictly about PHP.
I use Google Reader to subscribe to a lot of blogs, probably too many. I also use twitter to find out what’s happening. I follow people who are very active in the PHP, agile and software craftsmanship communities. When I see something interesting, I add it to Instapaper, so I can read it when I have time.
Aggregators are great, by following a few, you can quickly get a good view of the community.
The main one for PHP is without any doubt PHPDeveloper. This aggregator is maintained by Chris Cornutt. You can check the website or the Twitter feed, but don’t miss this one. Everyday, you will get links to 4 or 5 of the best articles published in the PHP world. You will also get weekly reminder of the best posts of the week and of what was popular a year ago.
Here’s a few other aggregator:
Those are some of the PHP blogs I follow:
- Cal Evans blog
- Rob Allen’s DevNotes
- Elizabeth Naramore’s blog
- Lorna Jane’s blog
- Matthew Weier O’Phinney project lead of Zend Framework
- Sebastian Bergmann the creator of PHPUnit
- Fabien Potencier founder Symfony
- 8th Light’s blog, not PHP but interesting
- Ilia Alshanetsky
- Day Camp 4 Developers
- Derick Rethans
- Cal Evans
- Rasmus Lerdorf
- Alison Green great career advices
- Chris Cornutt
- Giorgio Sironi
- Chris Hartjes
- Uncle Bob Martin
Podcasts And Screencasts
- Voices of the ElePHPant Interviews with the PHP community
- /dev/hell The Development Hell Podcast
- Clean Coders
I attempt a few user groups here in Montreal. I go to PHP Québec every months and to JS-Montreal, Montreal.rb and OWASP Montreal every time I can. You probably have some user groups in you region. Check them out. They are great for learning and making contacts with other developers.
Conferences are more expensive, but they are really worth it. Here in Montreal, we have ConFoo that is amazing. There is also Agile Tour that is coming in November. This year, I will also be at the first edition of True North PHP in Toronto.
Conferences are a good way to be introduce to many technologies. You get back home with lots of new ideas. And a lot of things to research.
PHP Mentoring is a new project that connects mentors with apprentices. I joined the program as soon as I heard about it and I’m very happy I did. I found two apprentices and a mentor in a few days. This is a great way to improve and learn a lot.
If you haven’t looked at it, I suggest you go read the guidelines and rules and put your name on the signup page on GitHub. It does not matter if you do it as a mentor, an apprentice or both. I’m sure it will help you a lot.
When your name is there, look for someone who matches what you are looking for in the names already there and contact him. I see a lot of names there, and not enough matches.
Those are a few of the resources I check to stay current. There are a lot more in my feed reader and in the list of people I follow on Twitter. But I think those are the most informative when it comes to PHP development.
If you think I missed some good ones, please leave a comment. I’m always happy to find more sources of great content.